There's a group organizing with the goal of banning plastic bags in Austin. Here's their website: http://bagthebags.com/index.htm
I think it's awesome! There's really no need for the conventional plastic bags anymore. Yes, they are cheaper than their biodegradable alternatives, but their impact on the environment is significant. Many cities and countries have successfully banned them.
We here at Greenling looked for alternatives for our produce bags (what you put lettuce, etc. in to keep it from drying out) since we started. We finally found an alternative in oxy-biodegradable bags. From that point on we haven't used any non-recyclable packaging materials for anything we sell (well, unless it came in non-recyclable packaging - which we frown upon but will put up with for certain products). We also sell the bio-bags they recommend people using for their trash bags. They're so cool! Just don't leave organic waste in them for too long, cause just your kitchen scraps will eat the bag up. So we're ready for a ban and we'd love for the rest of Central Texas grocery to follow suit.